24 June, 2015

How fashion helped me win freshman year

As the wise Asher Roth once said... MAN, I LOVE COLLEGE. 
Roth in all of his one-hit-wonder glory  
No but really, I do love college. I could not have hand-picked experiences better than those I had freshman year. The decision to attend George Mason was anything but random. It makes my skin crawl when I hear someone say they chose a college at random. I'M SORRY WHAT? This exorbitantly over-priced education will pave the way to your entire future and you chose it at RANDOM? I will never understand. What I do understand is wanting to make the most out of your experience at whichever university fun land you decide to attend. I think there is a gross misunderstanding among 18-24 year olds about what it means to have a "good" college experience. Before I delve into what I believe is the best way to have a meaningful college experience, I want to share with you something that teachers, parents, and employers will simply never admit to us young folks:

Yes you can. I wish I could personally address every adult who has ever discouraged a young person from pursuing his or her interests. Negative commentary on someone else's passion or career path is tacky, tasteless, and totally uncalled for. I have encountered this negativity more than once and I know I am not alone. A classic example is the "what do you plan on doing with that degree" question. "What do I plan on doing with it???? GEE WHIZ it's a good thing you asked me! I haven't even considered what I am doing after college. I just chose this major for the hell of it!" (how I want to respond whenever I am asked this mind-numbing question). Decidedly, I do not use that response. Instead, I walk the person through my major and everything that it entails and why it's the greatest choice I ever made and how I am going to use it to my advantage as I pursue my true passion. This is a bit hard for some people (young and old) to digest because there is this looming idea in this country that you simply cannot do what you love and be successful.  Luckily for you, I am here to shine a glittering beacon of light on the fact that you CAN do both - nay - you SHOULD do both. Why spend a massive bankroll on an education that won't provide lifelong satisfaction? I'm not keen on wasting money and I certainly have no intention of settling into a career that doesn't bring me joy. You shouldn't either. 

The most rewarding thing you can do, whether you are 17 or 77, is establish goals. Write them down. Think about them when you go to sleep and when you wake up. Be blatantly honest with yourself. This practice reveals what you really want to achieve in life which will then motivate you to make it happen. Determine what it is that you are most passionate about and then decide each day how you can be victorious in pursuing this interest. For me, it's obviously fashion. This is what motivates my every decision. From what I wear each day (LOL) to what I am involved in on campus; fashion is what motivates me to achieve my goals. As a freshman in college, I was able to achieve everything I set my mind to because I knew why I was doing it. If you're just going through the motions to get a degree that looks good on paper then I suggest you put on reading glasses and reread this post 100 times over. You should always fully understand what you are doing before doing it. I will use my own experiences as an example:

1. I write for the school newspaper not because I am an aspiring journalist but because Public Relations professionals must have extremely good writing skills. Do I ever want to be a journalist who reports on local news? No. Do I think this involvement helped me land my current internship? Absolutely. See what I did there?

2. I attended a GMU Fashion Society meeting after randomly seeing it on a school website. I didn't know a soul in the room and I was the youngest person there. I was elected Vice President of Fashion Society at the end of freshman year. BALLER.

3. After googling "best PR organizations" I immediately paid $70 to become a member of the GMU chapter. I attended every single meeting and event that I possibly could. I was elected Social Media Liaison at the end of freshman year. YES.

4. I invested the time and money into attending Fashion PR Confidential. I learned more about Fashion PR in these two days than I will in four years of college. I received insider advice that simply isn't written in a conventional textbook. Truth.

5. I used everything I learned at Fashion PR Con along with my involvement on campus to network with employers at a career fair held by none other than GMU PRSSA. I met my current boss and landed my PR internship.

So you see, having goals really is an essential part of being successful. Any motivational speaker could tell you that. What I want you to hear from me is this: never sacrifice your passion because you are afraid that it may not bring you success. It is quite the opposite, friends. To be truly successful you must be happy and to be happy you must pursue your passion. It's your college career. It's your life. Go make things happen!

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